How do you spell Tutti Frutti, anyway? The Internet was of no help, it just added six more possibilities to the three I was already grappling with. If anyone knows for sure, I’m all ears.
Did you ever wonder about the origins of Mr. Hankey, the Christmas Poo? Me either, but thanks to a recent article in The New York Times Sunday magazine, I’m going to guess he is a direct descendant of a Catalonian Tió de Nadal. I’ve summarized this Old World Christmas ritual in a Vers Beaucoup, a poetry form whose name means “many rhymes.” A Vers Beaucoup is made up of one or more quatrains that adhere to the rhyme scheme below:
Line 1: a – a – a
Line 2: a – b – b
Line 3: b – c – c
Line 4: c – d – d
TIO DE NADAL
Blows my mind, odd traditions I find outlined
in the NY Times. Kids abroad feed a “pet log”
then flog it with sticks until it magically shits
nougats. Scatological sugarplums, yum yum!
As if this custom was not weird enough, the article went on to report that Catalonian Nativity scenes often include a “caganer,” a defecator inconspicuously squatting somewhere in the vicinity of the crèche. He is believed to bring good luck by fertilizing the earth. As if the ox, ass, sheep, and camels don’t produce enough manure! If you know of any other bizarre holiday traditions, please leave me a comment. I would love to hear about them.